There are many plumbers in the UK and not all of them are licensed. This cannot be termed as illegal or wrong because not all states require their plumbers to have a license. But it is much better to hire someone who has the necessary skill, experience and of course, the certification to handle your plumbing home repairs.
Now how can you determine which plumbing contractor will be the best choice? It will depend upon a combination of factors and the type of service that you need done. Some plumbing repairs are just simple like clogged drain or sink. This simple thing can be resolved by even an unlicensed but with ample experience and plumber's apprentice.
However, when your require repairs on your drainage, gas systems and other major installations or fixing, you need best plumber at the most affordable rate. Why the best? If this is a residential repair, your life is of the issue here. Plumbing systems are complicated and if there are not repaired accordingly, then, you are living in an unsafe zone. Why the most affordable rate? Of course! We all want to get the value for our money maximized. You can find the most skilled plumber at a lesser cost.
Take your Pick - Tips on Finding your Plumber
As said, most states require plumbing contractors to be licensed. So here are two things to check - if the plumber is certified and if the plumber is not certified.
With license and certification:
A plumber who has the necessary legal requirements passed, like the verbal and written examinations, is a more suitable contractor to deal with. First off, these people have passed the most basic of competency requirements. (These requirements may include years in practice and some applicable certificate)
Second, specialty contracts require specialty plumbers. This too is evidenced by a license. It only means that the person with tests passed and certifications earned is a better plumber in terms of technical knowledge. Add to that years of experience, you have the most suitable contractor.
Without license but with work experience:
A person does not wake up one day and decide to become a plumber then work right ahead fixing and installing things. Of course, it is a professional decision to become one and with that comes ways on how to improve the craft.
Now, it is your risk if you hire a plumber without the necessary license but if you check his background and client roster, you will see how this person is at work. Get feedback from old clients. Ask around if this unlicensed plumber provides the necessary service at 100% perfect outputs. By then, you will know if the contractor is a go for you. They are more affordable compared to those with the certificates but again, it is your choice, given the details.
If you believe that a plumber with license is better but you cannot afford the rate, then, negotiate for it. Some contractors will gladly accept an offer. But if you feel that the plumber without certificate is surpassed by his extensive years of experience, then, go with your gut. This too can be beneficial for you in a financial aspect.